Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Language Barrier", 14x18

"Language Barrier", 14x18

I did this quick study last night as an experiment to see if I could paint people with a palette knife. I discovered that it was hard, but not impossible. The result is very impressionistic. I kind of like it so I'll probable do another one with even thicker paint. I've priced this very low, since it was an experimental piece and it only took me a short time to complete. So grab it if you like impressionist works that don't have a great deal of detail. (You can click on the image to see the detail a little better.)

I decided to name it "Language Barrier" because of a funny thing that happened yesterday.
I am looking after a friend's dog while they are away and yesterday when I went to their home, I let the dog out back into the fenced yard. The dog , whose name is "Sammy" could see his "friend" next door, a pit bull looking out from the sliding glass door of his home, probably wishing he could go out and play with Sammy. They started barking at each other , as is they were talking. Then a funny thing happened. I started hearing another loud strident voice coming from the pitbull's home. It sounded like a bratty little kid screaming his head off, but I know these people have no children. The racket got louder and louder and then the strange voice started whistling and heckling Sammy, who just kept barking back. I finally realized it was a cockatoo, a tropical bird which is known for its loud and rather harsh voice. I began thinking that it would be really cool if we could all talk to each other, animals and humans and birds communicating back and forth. Anyhow, that was the inspiration for this painting.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Wildflower Garden in Denmark"-12x16, oil on linen


"Wildflower Garden in Denmark"-12x16, oil on linen

A few years back, my husband and I took a trip to Denmark to visit my husband's relatives and celebrate the birthday of a cousin. We had a wonderful time and were able to go back in time and trace my husband's history, which included a dad who was a stowaway on a boat out of Copenhagen headed for America many, many years ago. The stowaway dad was discovered at Ellis Island, became a merchant marine, and the rest is history for our family!

The Scandinavian cousin took us on a wonderful tour while we were there, and today I pulled out the pictures I had taken from the trip. This one caught my eye:

I recall the moment I spied this beautiful wildflower garden. We had just come over a bridge where there was a castle-like structure with a swan in the water and some red -timbered buildings with thatched roofs to the left of us... Sorry, I can't recall the name of that particular village in Denmark, but if anyone knows of it, I'd love to have a name attached to my painting!

At the foot of that bridge was this incredible wildflower garden, and although I was not a painter at the time, I knew I had to try to capture the beauty of that garden with my camera! Anyway, the trip was wonderful, and I am glad that although I was using a pretty lousy camera at the time, I was able to translate my memories of the moment into a painting!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen, by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen,

This painting has soft pastel purples, blues and pinks and a calm, serene feeling to it.

If you have never heard of Ofu Island, it is a volcanic island in American Samoa. It has a population of only 289 persons as of a year 2000 census. Can you imagine?

Here is a little more from Wikipedia:

Ofu is the western part of the volcanic outcrop of Ofu-Olosega Island. The main village of Ofu is located on the western shore, protected behind an offshore islet (eroded tuff cone) known as Nu'utele. Ofu has a small airport and a boat harbor that serve the population on Ofu and Olosega. The flight from Pago Pago takes about half an hour.

Olosega village 1896
Most of the southern shore and associated coral reef are part of the National Park of American Samoa. The U.S. National Park Service is presently (2005) negotiating with village councils on Olosega to expand the park around that island.
Situated on the south coast of the island is Ta'oga lagoon which has a high diversity of corals and fishes. The marine site has been part of long term research and study on coral reefs and global climate change.
The island is also home to the Samoa Flying-fox (Pteropus samoensis), a species of bat threatened by habitat loss.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Taking Off", 14x11, oil on linen by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Taking Off", 14x11, oil on linen

Although news about the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the Macondo reservoir have dropped off the radar screen for most people, I am definitely not convinced that things are well (sorry the pun) in and around the Gulf of Mexico.

I read the website Florida Oil Spill Law everyday, and if even 50% of it is accurate, then we have not even begun to scratch the surface in terms of the consequences of this epic disaster. What is going on in the Gulf? I for one, believe that the environment has already been irrevocably damaged, and I think that this disaster has global implications that have not even begun to reach the mainstream. I also believe that the environmental disaster in the Gulf is why our President invoked two important executive orders in June and July, while the country was preoccupied with other things and not paying attention. I believe that after the November elections are over, more truth about the far-reaching extent of this disaster will come out, and that it will eventually be recognized as global in scope.

I hate to be an alarmist, and I for one hate to see the value of my real estate sink into the dark depths of uncertainty (much like the oil has sunk into the cold dead depths of the Gulf, thanks to Corexit). But unfortunately, most Americans are too busy to pay close attention to details, and that is probably not a good thing, if you value things like unalienable rights. I really do prefer reality over fiction when it comes to the health and safety and welfare of the planet, so for that reason I spend a good deal of time researching as much material as I possibly can, in order to get the REAL STORY. That means looking at both sides of the story, preferably without bias, and that is where people usually get lost.

My husband often tells me that I should have been a CIA agent, because I figure out the plot of most thriller and suspense movies within 15-20 minutes of the beginning. That's not always true, but I admit that I am pretty good about anticipating things most people wouldn't even dream of thinking about.

The two of us sat down together the other night and watched "The Pelican Brief" on Netflix. I had never seen it, since I am really not much of a movie buff. My hubby however, had, back in 1993, but he sat still, hoping I wouldn't nail the plot, as usual.

I did. Within 15 minutes, or maybe less, though I must admit, the title was a pretty good give-away.

I nailed it faster than Julia Roberts. It's tough living with a mind like mine. Tough, but never dull. Here's the tagline:

"Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead."

I'll give you a hint. This movie rang too many bells for comfort, regarding the BP oil spill and the way in which it has been handled. Okay, 'nuff with all that. Hopefully, everyone will live happy ever after, as BP and the government would like us to believe.

The painting of the Great Blue Heron taking off was inspired by the many herons who have frequented the beach where I have walked, read, painted, swam and played over the past 5-6 years that I have lived here. The beaches here are very special, and the marine life and wild life is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my many travels to beautiful places. It's lovely. It's peaceful. It's sacred. I hope that God will heal these waters and that we all can find alternative ways to produce energy that are much less threatening to the environment and the people of this planet. I hope that the many people who work in oil and gas can find safe places for exploration and that the companies who do this work can adopt safer methods of conducting their explorations, and that the agencies involved will pay more attention to details. Even I know that sea lions and seals don't swim in the GULF!, for heaven's sake!

If you are interested in this painting, please send me an email at, or call Leah Sherman directly at Collector's Gallery and Framery at 941-488-3029.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Red Beret", 12x16, oil on linen by Maryanne JAcobsen

"The Red Beret", 12x16, oil on linen

I started painting about 5 years ago after moving to Florida from Pennsylvania, where I had had a successful career in both real estate and the performing arts. After I moved here I had some free time on my hands and so I decided to do something that I had always wanted to do from the time I was a little child-paint! So I picked up some inexpensive watercolor paints and played around a bit. After a couple months I moved over to oils and decided to sign up for some lessons at a local art guild. One thing led to the next and before I knew it, I was winning awards and getting juried into national competitions.

My desire to paint has dwindled significantly in the past six months. A combination of things has put painting and artistic endeavors on a back burner.

It is funny how quickly you can lose confidence when you stop doing something that you think that you know how to do.

I have been struggling of late to find stimulating subject matter to paint and to find the incentive to paint-period. I have painted all subjects-landscapes, portraits and still lifes, and I can't really say I like one genre more than another. It all depends on my mood. Today I went through some reference photos that I had in my art file. This file contains photos I had taken of subjects that I had hoped to paint one day. Out of the thick stack I pulled out a photo of a man who had posed for a workshop that I took about three years ago with fabulous figurative artist Rob Liberace. As a new painter, I was probably the least experienced person in the class. That being said, Liberace was a grand teacher- and at the end of the workshop I felt like I had learned a good bit about portraiture in spite of my lack of experience.

There were three models during the workshop and we rotated positions throughout the three days. I never had a chance to paint the man with the distinctive features and the red beret and I was a bit disappointed. He obliged when I asked if I could take his photo, and when I pulled it out of the file last week something clicked inside my brain. I felt that although I was not painting from life, he would be fun and challenging for me to paint after being rather unproductive for almost 6 months now.

Unfortunately I cannot remember the man's name, but if he ever happens to read this blog, thanks so much for the opportunity. You have a very interesting face carved with years of thoughfulness and life's varied experiences. The painting was done over the course of a few days and I think it is turned out to be a good study.

Friday, September 03, 2010

"Moody Bayou", 12x16, by Maryanne Jacobsen, paintings of bayous, atmospheric paintings


"Moody Bayou", 12x16, oil on canvas

A bayou is a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river (often with a poorly defined shoreline), or to a marshy lake or wetland. Bayous are commonly found in the Gulf Coast region of the southern United States, particularly the Mississippi River region, with the state of Louisiana being famous for them. A bayou is frequently an anabranch or minor braid of a braided channel that is moving much more slowly than the mainstem, often becoming boggy and stagnant, though the vegetation varies by region. Many bayous are home to crawfish, certain species of shrimp, other shellfish, catfish, alligators, and a myriad other species.

The definition above was taken from Wikipedia.

I have been under the weather all week with a severely abscessed tooth. Today was the first day that I actually wanted to paint, and felt able to paint, and since my heart was and is and has been in the bayou these days, that is what I decided to paint. I didn't have a reference photo, just the many memories embedded in my head of quiet, peaceful Florida bayous, usually full of secretive birds and dancing mosquitoes!

The Gulf states and Louisiana in particular have suffered a great deal in recent months as a result of the horrendous Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, and I was incredibly encouraged today to hear that progress has been made in sealing the well permanently. The old damaged BOP (Blow out preventer) was removed and soon a new one one will be installed. After that the final relief well will be drilled, and hopefully the chapter in this eco-disaster will change to God's healing of the damage that this massive disaster has had on our precious ecosystem.

I believe in God and I also believe that God has made nature very resilient. So I am hoping that new chapters in the history of this disaster will show new growth for precious marshes, new spawning of healthy fish , phytoplankton, coral, and an increasingly healthy environment for all the fish, birds, turtles, mammals and especially the people along the coasts who have suffered as the oil is gradually degraded. I am still extremely upset about the dispersant use, but instead of starting on a new rant, I would prefer to thank God for His goodness and grace in helping people get through challenging times. For all the people in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama who have suffered the most for from this tragedy- God Bless You. Stay strong.

If you are interested in this painting, please send me an email at, or call Leah Sherman directly at Collector's Gallery and Framery at 941-488-3029.

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